Menstruation Terminologies and Facts

sanitary pad

What you Should Know About Menstruation

Every female from preteen to midlife will experience menstruation virtually every month. It is important that they get familiar with this routine, as well as the language used in describing it. Here`s why we have compiled a compendium of menstrual terms that females, as well as males, will find useful.

24 Menstruation Terms you Should Know


Amenorrhea is the absence of the first menstrual period by age 15. Secondary amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation for at least three months after pregnancy or after a medical condition.


This is a throbbing or cramping pain that females feel in the lower abdomen when they are in their period. Cramps can be mildly irritating or so severe to the point that sufferers are in terrible discomfort and even vomit.


Dysmenorrhea is painful periods. Primary dysmenorrhea is the more common form that is usually not associated with, or caused by another condition. Secondary dysmenorrhea is also called endometriosis.


This is a painful disorder in which tissue similar to the one that usually lines the inside of the uterus — the endometrium — grows outside the uterus.

Feminine Hygiene Products

This is the euphemistic term used to categorize products that women use during their periods. These include pads, sanitary napkins, tampons, and menstrual cups.

Follicular Phase

This is the first half of your monthly cycle. During this phase, the follicles (eggs) in your ovaries mature and one or more is/are released into the fallopian tube.

Menstrual Cup

menstruationTh menstrual cup is a small, flexible device made from latex, and is inserted into the vagina to take menstrual blood which is disposed of, and the device is reused. Menstrual cups are considered as environmentally friendly because they`re reusable.

Luteal Phase

The luteal phase is the second half of your monthly cycle. It is in this phase that the lining of your uterus thickens in expectation of pregnancy. The phase eventually ends in pregnancy or menstruation.


Menopause occurs when a woman hasn’t menstruated in 12 consecutive months and also cannot become pregnant anymore. Menopause usually begins between the ages of 45 and 55. Some women reach menopause outside the age range. Menopause could come with uncomfortable symptoms such as weight gain and hot flashes.


This is a condition in which periods are abnormally prolonged or heavy. The heavy blood loss could result in anemia or iron deficiency if medical attention comes in late.


“Menses” is another word for menstruation. Some people use the term to describe the blood, rather than the entire menstruation process.


Ovulation is the release of an egg from an ovary. This egg is then available for fertilization which may eventually lead to pregnancy.


These are the years leading up to menopause when hormones begin to fluctuate. Some women may experience symptoms such as night sweats and hot flashes during perimenopause.

Period Panties

Period pants are underwear that women wear during menstruation in place of, or alongside some other menstrual products. These panties can absorb blood and are reusable after washing.

Period Poverty

Period poverty is the lack or inadequacy of finances to buy sanitary pads, tampons, menstrual cups, and other menstrual products.

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

picking up a tabletThese are medications that women use to control period pain. The common NSAIDs are ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is is a hormonal disorder that women of reproductive age may experience. The condition is characterized by infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. The ovaries may also have difficulty releasing eggs.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

This is the most severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It comes with mood changes and physical pain. Some women even experience extreme emotional symptoms such as anger, anxiety, or sadness.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

PMS constitutes symptoms that occur about 10 days before one`s period and continues into the first few days of bleeding. Some of these symptoms are headache, fatigue, bloating, insomnia, anxiety, and irritability.


Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that cause inflammation, smooth-muscle contractions, among other symptoms. Prostaglandins are a major cause of menstrual cramps. Some women use NSAIDs to lessen the effects of prostaglandins. You are advised to consult your doctor before doing so.


Puberty is the developmental stage when sex hormones begin to affect sexual development. In girls, it results in breast development, change in body shape, and the onset of fertility.


Spotting is light vaginal bleeding between periods. It could be natural or caused by a disease. Women usually wear light sanitary pads to manage spotting.


This is a menstrual product made of cotton, rayon, or a combination of both. Women insert tampons into the vagina to catch blood before it leaves the body.


The uterus is a hollow organ located in the pelvis, just above the vagina. It is the part of a woman’s body where period blood develops.

Women`s Health Facts you Should Know

  • On average, a woman menstruates for about seven years during their lifetime.
  • A girl`s first period can come with celebration, fear, or concern, as it signifies an important transition to womanhood.
  • Girls may experience some emotional imbalance when they start menstruating, and as a result, may need the support of family and friends.
  • A number of girls don`t have a complete and accurate understanding of menstruation, hence the need to educate them before their first period.
  • It is also highly important to educate boys on menstruation, as it is a way of contributing to social solidarity and reducing the level of stereotypes against menstruation.
  • Poor menstrual hygiene poses loads of physical health risks and can result in reproductive and urinary tract infections.
  • A vaginal “fart,” also called a “vart” or “queef” is odorless.
  • Each vagina has its unique smell which depends on a variety of factors such as diet, level of hygiene, its bacteria content, how much a woman sweats, gland secretions, and the types of fabric a woman wears.
  • The first two inches of the vagina has the highest amounts of nerve endings and is the most pleasure receptive.
  • The acid/base balance of the vagina is around 4, which is the same pH as tomatoes, wine, and beer.
  • Vaginal infections, soap, douching, and exposure to semen change the pH of the vagina.
    A menstruating vagina may smell like iron, while one with an overgrowth of yeast may smell like bread.
  • A vagina may smell faintly like bleach after intercourse due to the presence of semen has a smell of its own.
  • Regular antibiotics intake can kill the good bacteria in your vagina and cause an imbalance that makes the vagina hospitable to fungus. Eating yogurt with live cultures in it may help restore that balance.
  • Some women have yeast infections from drinking a lot of alcohol, sitting in a wet bathing suit or sweaty workout underwear, or eating a ton of sugar.
  • Garlic is an effective remedy for a strong vagina odor, owing to its antibacterial properties that treating infections and kill harmful bacteria.
  • Pineapple juice contains sugar and enzymes that improve vaginal health.
  • Tea tree oil contains antibacterial and antifungal properties that combat vaginal odor caused by infections or hormonal imbalance.
  • You can make a vagina wash with three or four drops of tea tree oil in water and use it to clean the vaginal area.
  • The seeds of the rose plant with vitamin C tablets can stop vagina odor.